4 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. This doctrine is the genuine fruit of the alliance between church and State,

      This quote stands out to me because UVA often holds itself to be an explicitly secular institution. While this may be true and while Jefferson did intend to alter how religion and education interacted, religion’s influence over the school should not be denied. Specifically, Christianity has been dominant within the University's foundation, as highlighted by Jefferson's use of "church." As discussed in my engagements course, Jefferson said in his Notes on the State of Virginia “[relations between God and man are] the most interesting and important to every human being and the most incumbent on his study and investigation” Jefferson also said, “almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same." Thus, UVA was intended to be more accepting of different denominations of Christianity rather than other religions or non-religious people. When thinking about the types of students the University has historically admitted, most have been Christian. While this likely reflects the overwhelming number of Christians in the country, especially during UVA's founding, it has shaped how religion has interacted on grounds. Before the building of the chapel, Christians would meet in the Rotunda. Today, it is often praised that this building was a library rather than a chapel but it still occasionally served a religious function. Thus, we should reflect on how the strong influence of Christianity has shaped UVA and its lasting effects. The country has begun to accept atheism and other religions, but the dominance of Christianity still remains. We should look to see what other religion's holidays do not occur on breaks, forcing students to attend classes rather than worship. Stigmas against religious dress, even implicitly, still affect society today. The number and size of non-Christian religious groups also vary. Because the University cannot explicitly accept more students based on their religion, the community needs to do a better job at accepting and understanding religions that have a minority of people. It is the people in the majority, after all, that have the most power to change the situation despite being the least affected by it. http://eventplanning.odos.virginia.edu/sites/eventplanning.odos.virginia.edu/files/UVA-Chapel-History1.pdf

  2. Nov 2017
    1. These institutions, intermediate between the primary schools and university, might then be the passage of entrance for Youths into the University, where their classical learning might be critically compleated, by a study of the authors of highest degree. And it is at this stage only that they should be recieved at the university.

      These lines indicate that Jefferson understood the importance of starting education at a young age and that he wanted the University of Virginia to be exclusively for top tier students. By requiring so much knowledge as a prerequisite for entrance, Jefferson ensures that these students need to begin school very early in life and be able to stay in school. To do so, students and their families must be able to afford to educate their sons rather than have them work. Thus, the students who were often able to achieve these high prerequisites were from wealthy families. This added to the education divide between the rich and poor, which in turn likely increased the income divide. These tough prerequisites, combined with a wealthy white male student body, led to the University forming a stereotype of a typical UVA student that lasts today despite efforts to create a more inclusive institution. We can also see that the University is expensive compared to other colleges, adding to the exclusivity of who can attend today. According to a forum on UVA’s website, “there is still a perception among some African-Americans that they shouldn’t even apply because they can’t afford rising tuition costs.” UVA has also become associated with white supremacists because of the rally, which has led to decreased early action applications from black students in 2017. This divide between the races due in education is seeing continued effects from the University’s selectivity that began with Jefferson. Because slaves were often prohibited any form of education, including reading, there was an immense education gap when they were freed. Jefferson's University had promoted the advancement of whites, allowing them to gain jobs and better incomes. In his Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson mentions that he believes Blacks to be naturally inferior, especially in terms of intellectual capacity. Whites obsession with keeping slaves uneducated, however, indicate that they understood that blacks had capacity to obtain the knowledge they were keeping from them. Therefore, by making these requirements that impacted the income and race of those who could become educated, Jefferson may have contributed to the economic divides between races today. https://news.virginia.edu/content/forum-examines-lower-numbers-black-students-uva https://newsone.com/3758977/black-students-university-of-virginia-acceptance-rates-decrease-post-charlottesville-white-nationalist-rallies/

  3. Oct 2017
    1. Various Vocations of life, needing more instruction than merely menial or praedial1 labor;

      By stating "Various Vocations" it is evident that the founders recognized education allows a person to feel a sense of self-worth (based on ability and success). Following that statement with menial and praedial, they suggest slave labor deceases not only the quality of life but makes them less worthy of recognition. By stating that they do not want their students to ever fall to such low levels of life, they indicate they understand that it is wrong for humans to be in that state. Thus, they do not consider slaves human or the same level of human that whites are. The writers understand that education can allow for critical understanding and freedom of the mind and that someone who is educated cannot be a slave. Therefore they understand that to keep slaves in submission they cannot be educated and whites will always need to be more educated than them, as to not become slaves themselves. Thus, it creates the question if the importance of having a university in the first place was to ensure the dominance of the white race and continuation of the master/slave relationship.

    2. and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state:

      I want to focus on the idea of the importance of location to which students are admitted to the University. This statement makes it clear that physical proximity to their intended students (white citizens) was important to act as an incentive to draw more ideal students to come to the University. Location was therefore increasing admission. While physical distance acted as a barrier for students attending UVA during its foundation in terms of travel, thus inhibiting application, today location may act as a barrier for admission. For instance there is a difference between in-state and out-of-state admission, which may not contradict Jefferson's wishes as the University seemed to be intended for Virginians as the location to in-state white residence was the consideration. Likewise, someone's hometown location may affect what resources are available to them. For instance, small rural areas may not have opportunities for expensive science labs, AP classes, museums, or diverse communities (which can enhance experience and perspectives). These factors may contribute to lower test scores, worse essays, and less preparation for college. While admissions officers are supposed to take location into consideration, many students at UVA seem to be from affluent areas like Northern Virginia, have gone to private schools, have affiliation with the college, or have some exceptional circumstances. These factors and stereotypes may also decrease incentive to even apply to the University at all. Thus, location has altered to promote admission to acting as a barrier for application and admission. In part, this is a result of more applicants for college nationally, which allows for greater selectivity. In both the past and today, the University seems to benefit by getting its pick of ideal students (except for quotas on out of state students).